We should have seen it coming when Ford made massaging seats an option on its 2015 F-150 pickup.
Such seats have been around at least since the 1999 Cadillac Eldorado. But on a pickup?
Why not? Seats are yet another new way to boost automobile technology into ever-higher levels of sophistication, and it's easy to understand the appeal: Fancy equals profitable these days.
With mainstream vehicle makers now bragging about their spa-like interiors, including six-ways-from-Sunday adjustable seating — well, 12 ways in Honda Accord (with heating and ventilation) and eight ways in Chevrolet Impala to cite two — premium brands must push farther to maintain their upmarket image and higher prices.
Consider Mercedes-Benz, which has seats with six massage modes linked to specific interior lighting, and fragrances released from onboard vials.
Choose from freshness, warmth, vitality, joy, comfort and training. (That one itself has three different settings: muscle activation, muscle relaxation and balance. And each of those has several variations.) You’ll be lucky to try them all before the lease expires.
As if that were not enough, the system plays what it considers appropriate music for the massage setting, based on a song's beats per minute.
Lincoln has a 30-way (yes 30!) power-adjustable seat in its newest Continental, Navigator SUV and — next year — the Aviator SUV. Well, there are 28 ways the driver can adjust them, and two more that adjust automatically with the driver settings.
You like to drive with one leg stretched forward, the other tucked back? Power up one half of the thigh support and not the other. Need the headrest to back off your ponytail? Tweak the tiny area at the bottom of the proper control.